Reading Response 4

What does it mean to be a “good” student according to the commonsense?

After reading the chapter, I believe the article’s definition of a “good” student is a student who is compatible with the teacher’s teaching methods. A good student is willing to learn new knowledge but also willing to unlearn knowledge he/she had learned prior. A good student will learn to handle “crises” and to learn from them.

Which students are privileged by this definition of the good student?

The students who are not a minority are privileged by this definition of the good student. People with a physical or mental disability will have trouble learning by the conventional methods of teachers. Like the students M and N in the article, teachers will see them as the “problem student” instead of trying to understand that some students simply have different methods of learning.  Students who have trouble understanding English are also heavily impacted. The traditional method of teaching does not allow for a student to thrive if they do not have fluency in the English language

What is made impossible to see/understand/believe because of these commonsense ideas?

Students who are unique and need different ways to cultivate their knowledge and talents are made to believe that they are failures. Just because the standard method of teaching that is forced upon them do not suit their needs, they are marginalized as the failures or people who will not succeed in life. Just like student N in the article, N excelled in writing a short story that had no restrictions. With the given freedom, N was able to impress the teacher with his/her “complex, long, and lucid” short story. On the other hand, the essay that N handed in, which would have had many restrictions, seemed like it was done in “last-minute efforts”. N would excel at writing book, novels, stories, and should be guided or helped to cultivate his/her skills. N had a mind that could critically think about what he/she was being taught and the manner of the way that it was taught. Should one of the goals of teachers be raising a student that is capable of thinking critically? Instead of encouraging, all the teachers except Kumashiro would punish N for questioning their teaching methods.  By following these “commonsense” ideas it is made impossible to realize the potential of a student.


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